TNLI’s Top Ten Movies of 2016

TNLI’s Top Ten Movies of 2016

What you need to know

Check out TNLI's list of the top ten films in 2016.

The 74th Golden Globe Awards were presented on Jan. 8, and Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land” swept the awards with seven prizes, breaking the record for the most Golden Globe Awards. While some of the other award-winning films have yet to be released in Taiwan (such as “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight”), here is our list of the top 10 movies of 2016 (based on when they were released in Taiwan).

10. "La La Land" / Damien Chazelle / U.S.

"La La Land" is beautifully shot in a dreamy tone with an equally fairytale-like original score (which is a bit too repetitive at times). Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone do poke laughter and rouse some tears, and the film pleases in a "Disney for adults" kind of way.

9. "Train to Busan" / Yeon Sang-ho / South Korea

Zombies, an unstoppable train and an apocalypse, who could ask for more in a thriller? "Train to Busan" does not fail to entertain in the already abundant zombie genre in films.

Read more: Taiwan Knows What's Wrong With Its Film Industry. So Why Isn't It Changing?

8. "The Hateful Eight" / Quentin Tarantino / U.S.

The Western mystery bubbles with Tarantino's signature violence and dark humor. It's no "Pulp Fiction" or "Django Unchained," but guarantees grotesque fun and good satire.

7. "Kaili Blues (路邊野餐)" / Gan Bi (畢贛) / China

Chinese director Gan Bi's (畢贛) first feature-length film is a dream-like poem filled with magical realism. It's not a movie for all but is refreshing to see in the Chinese film industry. Bi was also awarded Best New Director at the 52nd Golden Horse Awards for "Kaili Blues."

6. "Finding Dory" / Andrew Stanton / U.S.

Yes, "Finding Dory" and not "Zootopia." Though both are equally entertaining, it is difficult to pull off a sequel that does not disappoint. Just keep swimmin', Dory.

5. "Mustang" / Deniz Gamze Ergüven / Turkey

In Turkish-French director Deniz Gamze Ergüven's first feature-length film, five young sisters long for freedom in a conservative Turkish village. The drama is haunting and heartfelt, sweeping nominations for Best Foreign Language film in awards such as the 88th Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.

4. "Nocturnal Animals" / Tom Ford / U.S.

The dark beauty and exquisiteness of "Nocturnal Animals" is bound to last for days. From the opening scene down to the first note in the main score, fashion designer Tom Ford pulls off an exceptional artistic psychological thriller.

3. "The Wailing" / Na Hong-jin / South Korea

South Korean directors have always been masters in making thrillers, but "The Wailing" raises the bar to another level. The horror and mystery build up in the brutal murders, evil spirits, shamans and ancient shamanistic rituals in the film. "The Wailing" is not nearly as bloody as Park Chan-wook films but is psychologically terrifying to the point chills will go down spines when thinking about it.

2. "The Handmaiden" / Park Chan-wook / South Korea

Acclaimed director Park Chan-wook, known for "Oldboy," "Lady Vengeance," and "Stoker," takes on an erotic psychological thriller in "The Handmaiden." Inspired by the novel "Fingersmith" written by Sarah Waters, Park's latest story of betrayal and revenge is deliciously captivating and filled with the director's style of dark humor. The film was also selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

1. "Sing Street" / John Carney / U.S.

John Carney, director of the well-loved music film "Once," tried to make a comeback with "Begin Again" in 2013 but failed. "Sing Street," however, proves Carney still has what it takes to live up to his own legacy. It is more polished than "Once," but the emotions are just as raw and the charming cast, irresistibly heart-melting romance, and catchy-yet-not-cheesy soundtrack bring the audience joy and hope unlike any other film does.

Editor: Edward White


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